- 33 Shady Ln. [HAR]
Heads up, California-ization vigilantes: A diligent transaction sifter over at HAIF noted last night that In-N-Out Burgers recently bought 8373 Westheimer Rd. (currently home to a branch of public employment center Workforce Solutions in the parking lot of the nearby Walmart Supercenter on Dunvale Rd.). The 1997 standalone building is right around the corner from the AMC Studio 30, and sits in something of a Whataburger gap — not one of the 5 nearest Whataburger locations is closer than 1.7 miles by car. The space had been put on the market a few times in the last few years with no takers; the sale to In-N-Out went through in late May, per county records.
Noises have been made before about In-N-Out possibly moving to (or near) Houston, but CBRE VP Jazz Hamilton told the Chronicle’s Katherine Feser only this past February that he expected the chain’s first location to open by the end of the year — adding that Houston will “see [more locations] come in quietly . . . All of a sudden, they’ll start building all at once.”
Photo of 8737 Westheimer Rd.: LoopNet
The fastest way to Westheimer Rd., if you happen to be wandering north looking for it in the 76210 ZIP code, is a left off of Heights Blvd. and an immediate right off Gessner Dr. Lauren Meyers captured some scenes this weekend around the Summit Oaks subdivision on the south side of Denton, TX, which has a whole section of streets sharing names with major Houston roadway (with a few bizarro-world tweaks here and there, like Chimney Rock Dr. and an only-1-L Hilcroft Ave.) The imposters range from Briar Forest Dr. to Dunlavy St. to Willowick Cir. and beyond:
WHERE THE WESTHEIMER SIDEWALK ENDS Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking Houston Press adventurers John Nova Lomax and David Beebe, an acolyte named Brent Zius has chosen today as the day he’s gonna walk the entire length of Westheimer, starting a full 3 miles west of West Oaks Mall and ending in Midtown, where the road gives up its name to Elgin. Zius, who claims he’s made “no real training or preparation” for the trek, is at least bringing his Twitter account with him: Already, he’s checked in with this photo showing the western limit of Westheimer’s pedestrian paving. [Twitter; details on Hair Balls; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Brent Zius
THE WOODWAYS AND THE WESTHEIMERS “I sometimes think that Woodway is made nicer by the fact that Westheimer exists. There are certainly numerous suburbs and exurbs where the Westheimers look like Woodways. Oh, there’s retail, but it’s set back from the street, perhaps behind a tree buffer, with tasteful monument signage out front. I’ve always found such environments to be stifling. It’s so obviously contrived. All-night, six- and eight-lane arterials are SUPPOSED to have large illuminated signs. They’re SUPPOSED to have ratty businesses alongside the nice ones. Every suburb has a Target and a ratty convenience store. Westheimer has a Target and twenty ratty convenience stores, plus ’24 hours video and news.’ I’ve never been in there, but its existence tells me that this strip is whatever it wants to be. This holds true of Woodway. It’s not a pure residential drive; there is retail, much of it even with tasteful signage. The signage follows from the road – Westheimer has large signs because it’s big and straight and a larger sign means higher visibility. Put up a larger sign on Woodway and it’d just be obscured by trees. Some people think of Westheimer (and other streets like it) as ugly. I don’t, but I understand where they’re coming from. Perhaps if they wanted to do something about it, they should plant trees instead of making rules about commercial signage. Proactive versus restrictive. Woodway is a nice drive because it was built to very nice design standards (10′ median with staggered trees) and because the people who own stores and homes along Woodway want to keep it pleasant. And so it is.” [Keep Houston Houston]
Problems getting credit have stalled or dashed hopes for many Houston developments, leaving vacant sites, ratty construction fences, and more than a few misleading “coming soon” signs touting unachievable goals. Off Westheimer just west of Mid Lane, though, we’ll have a much bigger and longer-lasting reminder of changed fortunes to look at, for a good long while: The steel frame of the first building in Trademark Property’s High Street project.
Work has stopped.
Westheimer near Montrose is becoming late-night central. What about Westheimer near Kirby?
Allison Wollam reports in the Houston Business Journal that Cantina San Miguel will be the latest in the growing list of Mexican or Mexican-ish restaurants near that intersection, joining Chuy’s, Taco Milagro, Armandos, and Pan y Agua just down the street. The restaurant, which until last week owner Beau Theriot apparently planned to call Beau’s Hideaway, is a remake of the Theriot’s Brownstone Restaurant at 2736 Virginia, which closed in July.
. . . Cantina San Miguel will feature a large outdoor patio, a margarita bar, flat-screen televisions, a wine room and a station that churns out fresh flour tortillas.
The restaurant will also feature The Red Room Lounge, which will have its own separate entrance.
Any lineup changes coming for West Ave?
Swamplot reader Buildergeek sends pictures from the demolition of the former Martha Turner Properties building at the corner of Westheimer and Hazard.
Whatever’s happening to the site, it sure doesn’t sound like what Nancy Sarnoff reported a year and a half ago in the Chronicle:
The old headquarters of Martha Turner Properties near River Oaks has been sold for the third time in as many years to a florist who plans to gut the property, add a floral showroom and lease out space to other businesses.
The owners of Plants ’n’ Petals, a 25-year-old flower shop located near Highland Village, purchased the former real estate office at 1902 Westheimer for an undisclosed amount. . . .
The renovations will include installing windows on the Westheimer-facing facade, gutting the interior and adding a mezzanine for offices.
The building will have about 12,000 square feet of space when it’s finished by the end of 2008.
After the jump: Clearly, the building was too close to the street!
The square footages appear to have adjusted a bit since our last report, but Trademark Properties says it has its financing, and that High Street is a go. From a report in Globe St.:
The Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. and Coventry [Real Estate Advisors Ltd. of New York City] are redeveloping a seven-acre site of the former Central Ford dealership at 4410 Westheimer Rd. In turn, the JV signed a partnership pact with Indianapolis-based Kosene & Kosene Development Co. for the residential component of High Street. The redevelopment will have 233 apartments atop 100,000 sf of retail and 80,000 sf of office in a separate structure. The foundation’s been poured for the office building, with residential and retail to go vertical in 60 to 90 days.
After the jump, another pretty picture!
With new bold, rich watercolor renderings now posted to its website, OliverMcMillan shows its mixed-use proposal for Westheimer is serious. The River Oaks District won’t be in River Oaks exactly, but it would mark a serious upgrade for this portion of Westheimer just inside the Loop, on a portion of the site of the Westcreek Apartments.
What’s planned here: 300,000 square feet of retail space, 300 fancy apartments, 250,000 square feet of office space, plus two hotels — rumored to be a W and a Le Meridien. The W Hotel will house 150 condos on its top floors.
After the jump: those shiny watercolors, plus plans and an aerial view!
Trademark Property has released this new image of its High Street development, slated for the site of the demolished Central Ford dealership at 4410 Westheimer, just west of Highland Village. So . . . is it really gonna happen?
The project had been on hold. It’s now described as “a 6-acre, pedestrian-oriented urban village featuring 93,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space combined with Class A offices and urban residences.” The Fort Worth developer — who also developed Market Street in the Woodlands — had planned to break ground this past spring. Instead, the company has leased part of the site to the sales trailer for the Highland Tower, and politely thrown a picture of that condo building into the background of the new drawing as well.
Don’t confuse High Street with the River Oaks District, a similar but larger project planned for next door.
Continue reading for a site plan and lots more images!
The Houston Business Journal gives more details on the River Oaks District, a 15-acre, $600 million mixed-use development proposed for Westheimer just inside the loop, on the site of the Westcreek Apartments, between Highland Village and the Galleria. It’s hard to imagine River Oaks moving further west than that. Once you get to the other side of the loop of course, you might as well call yourself Tanglewood.
Two luxury hotels are on tap. The five-star properties will have a total of 500 guest rooms, and 150 condominiums for sale at the top of one tower.
Another building will hold 300 upscale apartment units. A 10-story office building with 250,000 square feet of space also is part of the mix. And since the Galleria is synonymous with shopping, the developer plans 350,000 square feet of mostly ground-level retail space.
San Diego developer OliverMcMillan says groundbreaking is scheduled for a good year-and-a-half from now. So there’s plenty of time for this project to morph into a more typical Houston-style mixed-use project: maybe a stylish Sam’s Club next to some shiny new apartments?
After the jump, plans and more flashy drawings!
For a flat, flood-prone, and low-lying town, Houston sure has given itself a lot of highfalutin placenames. Latest exhibit: Highland Tower, a luxury resort-style building Pelican Builders is planning to tuck between the Target on San Felipe and the Highland Village shopping center (oh, that’s where they got the name) on Westheimer. The sales center isn’t quite open yet, but the website is.
The site says it’ll be fifteen stories, with 99 residences. It was designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects, who also did the Briarglen next door: brick, with slick metal panels on the de rigueur semi-curved front, which’ll face west. Maybe they’re hoping that’ll give a blinding reflection to highrise Galleria workers in the late afternoon.
It’d be a good bet the Highlands name is also meant to refer to the green (and also blue, if they chlorinate the pool) roof on the parking garage. It’s the highrise’s fifth-floor Terrace level, which will feature
After the jump, views of the Highland Tower’s never-gonna-flood party deck.